The housing market is currently FIERCE/General whinge thread

Oh my god, the last fortnight has been hell. J and I are looking to move to Yorkshire and the housing market in the north of England is currently the worst I have ever seen despite my 42 years of living down south.

When I say that, I mean I have moved home 35 times in my life and probably at least 15 of those were renting my own flat in London or Kent. Insanity details:

  • Being asked to do a nine hour round trip in two foot of snow so the owner of the property can meet us, in person only, and decide if he wants us to live on his grounds*
  • Finding a great place and doing a virtual viewing only to be told the landlord ‘is nervous’ rent to someone who hasn’t seen the property

Pretty sure those two are breaking Covid laws btw.

Let’s take a pause to consider the circumstances.

J works in an industry that is currently booming, has been in his job for 6 years and is likely to get a 30% pay rise over the next year. We also have 17k in savings.

The properties we are looking at are between 13 and 18 % of our net income. In London, the last time I rented a flat, they didn’t like it it if your rent was more than 33% and would require a guarantor: a person who owns their own home who is legally responsible for paying your rent if you can’t pay. They can and will take that person to court and make them remortgage or sell their house to pay your overdue rent.

Not only are they limited by the government in viewing numbers, especially in-person ones, but most of the good ones are going within days.

Hurrah for the North! Fuck Thatcher for taking all the money out of the North and the desperate inequality and lack of investment. I am pleased to see this turn of events for the North.

Then, today:

  • Please fill out our application form before we send you a link to our virtual video (not even asking for a live video tour, this shit is automated) and then
  • As above but please make sure you include a pdf file of your current credit rating

And the icing on the cake:

  • All our rental properties require a guarantor. ‘But this is teeny percent of our income.’ Sorry, no, guarantor or you cannot rent anything from us. Not even poverty lodgings.

So this is part whinge part warning. If you live north of the Watford gap and are planning to move any time over the next year, you may have to do a lot of work. People are leaving the SE in droves after their employees have finally conceded that being locked to a London desk so you can be ‘seen’ is outdated, expensive for them, and simply not necessary in the era of super-fast broadband.

A few times I have had a ‘fuck you mum for not dying earlier!’ Outbursts. We would have moved ages ago if the stubborn mare had not hung on until she was three an a half stone.

(She would laugh at this post)

And breathe.

What’s your current massive pain in the arse?

*it was a Manor House, a house within the grounds, and a tiny manor house at that


I wish you nothing but the very best on your future endeavors house hunting, good luck!


I laugh in bitter sympathy for you. Renting a “relatively decent” apartment in the S.F. Bay Area is a similar range of hurdles.

It all sounds a bit dodgy

I wonder, are there any stats (@marckee?) about how much rent arrears is currently stacked up in the UK what with Covid + eviction moratorium etc. (I read somewhere a couple of weeks ago that renters are on average $13,000 in arrears in the US right now)

Obviously my heart fucking bleeds for any landlord, still it seems like the wider consequences have yet to properly hit the economy but maybe are already changing the behaviour of landlords/letting agents/property owners etc to the situation you describe above Mirri

seems pretty dangerous

Has Sunak said when the eviction moratorium is going to end? Is there going to be a mass wave of homelessness? Court backlog? Bankrupt landlords? Loads of buy to let properties flooding back onto the market? What’s gonna happen?

1st April, but they added a clause recently that means you can be evicted if you have more than six months worth of rent arrears - see here

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But… we’re a year into the pandemic and the UK economy has shrunk by 10%

Surely this clause means that the eviction moratorium is effectively over?


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Haha I was literally just despairing at how everything available to rent in Tunbridge Wells/Tonbridge is ludicrously expensive or horrible at the moment. I’ve started looking at houses on the outskirts of Leeds and it makes me want to cry at how you can get a 2 bed house for less than a horrible studio flat in TW.

My landlord is raising our rent by 12% from March. When we dared to suggest this was pretty huge (I only moved in August!), he passive aggressively replied by sending screenshots of his chat with an estate agent about how much he could rent the property out for right now - the estate agent egged him on by claiming he could rent it out for £1150 (no bills); we’re currently renting for £1080 with bills and with the raise it’ll be £1200. So he - very suddenly and unclearly - issued us with a Section 21 notice. With the wrong date. I said he’d only given us 5 months notice (it’s currently meant to be 6) and he sent back a screenshot of ‘what date is 6 months from now’. Cretin.

Now, he can’t actually kick us out as he hasn’t protected my deposit, which means the S21 is invalid, but it’s so frustrating to have this hanging over us. We pay our rent on time every month and are good tenants - he’s an awful landlord, fucked off to Spain and can’t be bothered to get us a plumber in lockdown when we have standing water for a week, just kept telling us to use Mr Muscle. My parents broke lockdown to fix it. I’m just hoping that by June/July there’s a lot more movement and estate agents won’t be able to rip people off because of a lack of supply. If landlord can’t rent it out for £1150 there’s no point him turfing us out. But my housemate will be long gone by then.

Yeah, that’s the article that @tuna linked to, which I’ve now read

This is an absolute disaster and it hits directly at the people most vulnerable and most badly impacted by Covid

Fucking Tories, I don’t for a moment imagine there is much of a though for the human impact but is there not even any joined up thinking about the economic cost of the chain of consequences of a wave of mass evictions?

If you’re actually considering Leeds there’s so many new builds in the centre you can get a really nice flat for less than you’ll be paying with the increase they’re undersubscribed

Mines £1150 but I think a hundred a month for parking so £1050 if you don’t have a car and it’s a brand new fully furnished two bed two bath with balcony the length of the property. Gym, internet and 24 hour reception all included.
If you get the train to work it’s 5 minutes walk to the station.

That would be way out of my price range - the £1200 at the moment is split between me and my housemate; if I moved to Leeds I’d be living alone, preferably 2 bed so I could have a study rather than cramming everything in the lounge. There are some nice 1 beds in the centre though, still a lot cheaper than the south. But I’ve noticed Beeston and Batley seem crazy cheap - Batley appears to have loads of fully maintenanced new flats with swimming pools and gyms in the complex where a 1 bed is about £550 a month? Even if I had to commute to London once a fortnight and Bristol once a month I’d be saving so much money compared to living in a 1 bed here (where you’re looking at £800 + council tax + bills :grimacing: )

Is that Batley one a massive converted mill? I saw them when i was looking, looked too good to be true but i guess Batley is a bit of a quiet place to have that sort of residence so there’s no demand.

Beestons to close to the leeds ground :smiley:

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It’s also not far from where my ex lives… I feel like my own version of Crazy Ex Girlfriend whenever I see where he lives on the map :see_no_evil: it’s not about him!! that’s a really awkward part of it!! Leeds is cheap and it’s the one place outside the SE where I have a cluster of friends (plus a load of DiSers, hopefully we could hang out :sweat_smile: )

It wouldn’t be til 2022 though at earliest, no chance I’m moving across the country during a pando.

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It’s only just over a mile from my flat tbh :grinning:

Oh Im the same. Whalley Range is definitely not old trafford. (its just over the road :eyes: )

House swap for match days ?

Not sure Id trust you with my beer fridge :smiley:

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I’ve got a beer fridge too :eyes:

Wave at each other at huddersfield station.

Spoke to someone recently who had £70k (not a typo) of rent arrears and counting. Admittedly that’s in West London and he was withholding rent for disrepair reasons, not because he couldn’t afford it, but it’s still staggering.

The govt is going to use this situation to push possession hearings out of the county court and into a tribunal system like immigration and employment. They have already started a dubious mediation pilot and split the hearings into “review” and “substantive”. Take up for duty advice is very low. A lot of people are going to lose their home without a fair hearing.

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